BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: Gaoth Dobhair are good enough to make their mark against Crossmaglen

BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: Gaoth Dobhair are good enough to make their mark against Crossmaglen

Gaoth Dobhair take centre stage this week and fly the Donegal flag in Ulster next weekend when they face Crossmaglen in the Ulster Club championship.

The game is a semi-final and it is a great opportunity for Gaoth Dobhair to make it into an Ulster final.

They are a very good side and one of the best squads of players to leave the county in a good few years.

I know they have been hit a body blow with the loss of Kieran Gillespie to injury. It is a blow and is very hard luck on Kieran himself and my heart goes out to him.

But there have been great advances made in the treatment of cruciate injuries in recent years and the recovery time has been greatly introduced.

The season just gone Bernard Brogan was back playing again six months after having surgery. So hopefully Kieran will make a quick recovery and will be back playing again next summer.

I wish him well and a speedy recovery.

He will be a big loss but my advice to Mervyn O’Donnell and the team is just get on with it. They still have a good squad of players with a great mix of young and experienced players.

I was looking at the squad in the programme the day of the county final and literally every man in the squad had played county at some level.

They even had county men in the subs. There are very few clubs out there than can boast of such a strong squad.

They are also very lucky they have players of the quality and experience of the two McGees, Neil and Eamon; Kevin Cassidy and Odhrán MacNiallais.

My advice to them, too, is not to be fazed by the name Crossmaglen. This is a new look Crossmaglen Rangers. They are a very young side with a number of old hands like Aaron Kernan in the line-up.

By all accounts they have a number of handy young forwards and the team is based on a number of successful minor teams. I was reading they have won the last five Armagh minor championships.

They will be no slouches but if Gaoth Dobhair go out and play the football they are capable of I think they are more than capable of making through to the Ulster final.

The game is in Omagh which is pretty convenient for Donegal so hopefully we will see a good Donegal crowd out supporting Gaoth Dobhair, our county champions.

The game is part of an attractive double bill with Scotstown and Coleraine playing in the curtain raiser in the other semi-final.

GOOD LUCK RED HUGH'S

The best of luck, too, to Red Hugh’s, who are playing Limavady from Derry, in the Ulster Junior Championship final on Saturday night, in Celtic Park.

It is a brilliant achievement for Red Hugh’s and great to see. It is not that long ago since they were playing senior football. I remember when I was chairman presenting them with a league trophy.

Like Gaoth Dobhair they are a right good side and it is great for Donegal football to see club teams from the county up challenging in Ulster.

Hopefully, Red Hugh’s can follow in the footsteps of Naomh Colmcille, who won the junior championship last season.

Congratulations to Glenfin who are in the U-21A final, a fantastic achievement for a small club, and they defeated Gaoth Dobhair and Naomh Conaill along the way. It is also some compensation for their recent defeat in the Ulster Intermediate Club championship and shows the amount of great work that is being done at the club.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.